Why We Lost
1) We kicked a field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1 on the 1 yard line. That's how the defending champs set the tone early?
2) We trusted that same kicker from 52 yards out when he clearly has issues as of late.
Riddle me this: At the end of the 2nd quarter, when we were up 13-0, Tomlin had no problem going for it on 4th and 4 on the Cincy 35 yard line. So why the sudden change in strategy after the Bengals take the pick back for the TD early in the 3rd quarter? Now we're going to kick from 52 yards out? I don't get it.
3) Limas Sweed can't catch the ball. He's proven he has issues and can't be relied on. I like this kid but a shakeup is in order. Why did we cut Dallas Baker??
4) We tried to kill the clock in the 4th quarter. It might not have been obvious but the offense was dragging the plays out, starting at the 7:17 mark. This was evidenced by Arians' run-run-pass pattern that led to a Ben sack on third down and gave Cincy the ball back with 5:14 left. Slamming Willie twice into the line to get things going probably wasn't the best way to use Willie.
5) We don't know how to close a game out.
6) We were out coached again. This Bengals team has so many holes. They are terrible. And yet they win. Marvin Lewis was hungrier. I'm a big fan of Mike, but this one's on him.
When you're not going for the jugular because you have no one to trust on 3rd/4th and short, then you have a problem. Cutting Isaac Redman was a big mistake. If you're only going to use Frank Summers as a blocking fullback and not give him any chances to run, then it's time to think about giving Redman another shot.
I smell the same hangover stench after we won last time in 2006. We're soft out of the gates. These are simple coaching movies that Tomlin isn't executing. All hope is not lost but we need to get it together pronto.
[Conversely, I actually thought Ike Taylor had a strong game (even though Ochocinco should have caught the TD pass at the end of the game). Willie looked great as well. It's a shame his comeback game was spoiled.]